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Could Apple's "thermonuclear war" against Samsung finally be showing signs of cooling down? While the two smartphone giants apparently aren't ceding any patent ground in the lucrative U.S. market, there appears to finally be some peace in the rest of the world, except in China, where Cupertino now faces a setback with the government. It's all in today's Morning Report!
Reuters today reported that China is now prohibiting government agencies from purchasing 10 Apple products, citing unspecified "security concerns." According to unnamed government officials, Apple's popular MacBook and iPad are among the products now omitted from a government procurement list circulated by China's National Development and Reform Commission and Ministry of Finance, which also recently banned antivirus software from non-Chinese companies such as Kaspersky Lab and Symantec.
The report appears to point the finger at Edward Snowden's exposure of U.S. government spying as a key reason China has increasingly turned its back on American technology products. In June, state-run China Central Television claimed the location tracking software used on Apple's iPhones had the potential for leaking government secrets, which Cupertino has vehemently denied.
Bloomberg delivered an after-hours bombshell Tuesday with word that Apple and Samsung have decided to abandon all patent suits between the tech giants — with one big exception. “Apple and Samsung have agreed to drop all litigation between the two companies outside the United States,” the companies said in a joint statement. “This agreement does not involve any licensing arrangements, and the companies are continuing to pursue the existing cases in U.S. courts.”
Although the U.S. remains unaffected, the companies have dropped the matter in Australia, Japan, Germany, the Netherlands, the U.K., France, Italy, and Samsung's home turf, South Korea. The announcement does not include any sort of cross-licensing agreement for patents, and doesn't seem likely to leave Apple or Samsung drawing any less blood from each other in U.S. courtrooms.
The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday that third-placed U.S. carrier Sprint has called it quits on plans to acquire fourth-placed T-Mobile US, and Japanese parent company SoftBank now appears willing to go it alone. However, the abandoned deal may have one casualty: Sprint CEO Dan Hesse, who is rumored to be replaced as early as today by Marcelo Claure, described as a "billionaire entrepreneur" with no former experience at running a wireless carrier.
Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter